DS-1 Distortion review by Boss

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Ease of Use: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.9 (442 votes)
Boss: DS-1 Distortion

Sound — 9
I use this pedal with a Crate Flexwave-15r and a very small 5-watt Gibson practice amp, along with a Dunlop Crybaby Wah-Wah pedal. I use an Epiphone Les Paul Studio, a Gibson Les Paul Junior, and an electric guitar from Crafter Acoustic (under the brand name Ashland). All of them get a very good tone from it. I use the Fuzz setting, because, along with the settings on my amp, it works as a universal tone for almost any band or style. It does give quite a lot of feedback when left on without actually playing anything, so I generally turn down the volume on my guitar or turn it off altogether to save my ears from that. I think as far as getting the sound of my favorite artist(s), who just happens to be Rise Against, it works great. It also gets a great sound when playing Metallica, Chiodos, and just about any band I can think of, all while left on the Fuzz setting. It all depends on how you have your lows, mids, and highs on the amp set up as well, though. In the way mine is set up, I haven't ever had to change the settings on it to get a sound for a band. One problem I do have with it is if you lack the A/C power adapter, you have to use a 9v battery, which seems to last (for me) for a different amounts of time each time I change the battery in it. You can tell straight away when you need to change the batteries, since the effect REALLY starts to suffer the moment that battery gets weak. I would definitely recommend changing it the instant that the "Check" light starts to get even the tiniest bit dim. This to me is a VERY big nuisance, since I seem to have to change mine at random times, so it would seem that it doesn't have a solid estimate for a battery life time.

Overall Impression — 10
I play everything from Blues, Hardcore, Metal, Classic Rock, Punk, and Screamo. This pedal suits them all fairly well. If you can get the tone on your guitar just right to match the sound that you want, then you can get this pedal to work with you very well. Next month will be 3 years I've been playing. I own an Epiphone Les Paul Studio, a Gibson Les Paul Junior, an Ashland Electric Guitar from Crafter Acoustic, a Crate Flexwave-15r, a small Gibson practice amp, and a Dunlop Crybaby Wah pedal, and this pedal matches them all very well. I love the tones you can get from it. If it were lost/stolen, I would more than likely buy it again, but I would also like to have a Boss ML-2 Metalcore pedal, or the Mega Distortion, but this one does satisfy me quite well for now. I did compare it to a Boss Overdrive pedal, and would up with this one just for the fact that the Overdrive just sounded too much like the Overdrive feature on my amp, which I was tired of.

Reliability & Durability — 9
I would say that this is defiantly a reliable effect pedal. It works great for just about any band (if you tweak your amp settings and those on the pedal a little bit). I actually have used it in gigs without a backup, since it's the only distortion pedal I have right now, and it stood up just fine. I did change the battery in it after that just to keep the tone from going out.

Ease of Use — 10
I've had this pedal for just under a year now, and it's been great the whole time. I think it's very easy to get a sound from. All you really need to do is to adjust the tone, distortion level, and level knobs and you're ready to go. Just a simple press down with your foot to turn it on and off. Manual gave a few ideas for tones, and the basic instructions on how to change the batteries, turn it on, adjust knobs, etc.

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    this is probably one of the best and most reliable pedals i've ever used. it was the first pedal i bought like 7 years ago, and i still use it on a daily basis
    Xx aLi N 123 xX
    xVyKariousx wrote: I don't know why, but my friend and I both have the DS-1 and for some reason mine sounds like shit no matter how I set the tone, volume, or distortion level. I've compared his to mine, and there's a clear difference between them. And yes I had the battery changed.
    Do you have different amps or guitars? These will make a huge difference on the sound of your DS-1, my Washburn with EMGs sounds quite bad through the DS-1, but my strat sounds quite good with it.
    Wow. Obviously some of these people on here dont know that you arent supposed to use a distortion with the distortion channel on your amp. It creates overload. And of course its going to make extra noise.
    I like this pedal because you can do a lot of different things with it, it can be very smooth or you can get a nice healthy crunch out of it. The versitility for the price is greet